Structural Testing

Structural testing is used to verify the static strength, or fatigue strength, of a component by applying measured loads. Testing can be done to failure, to contractual requirements, or to validate finite element model predictions.

Dayton T. Brown, Inc. has successfully completed thousands of structural tests on items ranging in size and complexity from simple coupons to entire aircraft.

When you need predictable product structural durability, verified and validated, DTB’s test experts can answer your requirements. We can develop and document your test program, providing certified equipment and personnel to authoritatively assess the design and manufacturing integrity of your product.

Structural Tests

img-description img-description Static & Fatigue

Static & Fatigue

DTB can assist you in any phase of your loads testing program to determine the actual real-world loading conditions on your system. Using strain gages, load calibrations, data recording equipment, and other instrumentation, the loading history can be recorded and analyzed to satisfy any data requirements that you may have. This information can be used in analytical life predictions and for discrete tests.

If further testing is required, DTB can work with your team to develop test methods for static load tests and/or fatigue load tests.

img-description img-description Flight Test Support

Flight Test Support

DTB has the trained staff and expertise to install strain gages, along with all types of transducers and recording equipment, to support your flight test instrumentation and load calibration requirements for aircraft flight testing.

We can even provide these services at your site. DTB has teams trained to install strain gages during aircraft assembly or on the flight line. A recent test was conducted in Fort Worth, TX, where numerous strain gages and accelerometers were installed to acquire vibration and strain data on a Cheyenne aircraft nose gear door.

Load calibration of aircraft wings, tail assemblies, or landing gear is also a highlight of our unique capabilities. DTB is currently conducting a load calibration of an aircraft wing and tail assemblies at a customer's flight test location.

We look forward to working with your team to prepare your aircraft for a successful flight test program.

img-description img-description Hydraulic


DTB’s powerful in-house hydraulic plant, coupled with our years of experience in building hydraulic pressure systems, provides us the capability to handle the most demanding hydraulic pressure tests.

For tests that require large flow rates, we have several 100 GPM pumps available. We have performed static pressure tests to 30,000 PSI and have the capability to perform dynamic pressure tests with pressures up to 18,000 PSI.

The hydraulic fluids that we test with include MIL-H-83282, MIL-H-81722, MIL-H-5606, DTE 24, and a range of ROYCO fluids of various compositions. Pressure testing using Skydrol is also available.

If hydraulic pressure testing is required for part certification, we have experience testing to the many hydraulic pressure test standards. DTB tests to AMS 2615 (supersedes AMS 2620E, which is cancelled) for proof pressure testing. Impulse testing to ARP1383 is also possible. In smaller assemblies, we have achieved pressurization rates of 100,000 PSI/sec. Additionally, we have conducted hydrostatic pressure tests on numerous components, such as landing gear, coolant manifolds, hydraulic actuators, and large shipboard hydraulic components.

Cyclic hydraulic pressure tests can reveal unforeseen stress concentrations around ports and mounting geometry on vessels and fittings. To evaluate these stresses, we can instrument your assembly with strain gages, or we can conduct periodic non-destructive inspections for cracks and track their growth to provide data for life predictions.

If you have a new hydraulic component, DTB has the instrumentation available to provide accurate data to help you build your specification sheet. Characteristics, such as flow rate tests and head losses, can also be measured. A high and low temperature hydraulic pressure test can be conducted to find the bounds of your component’s operating envelope. Efficiency tests of hydraulic motors and cylinders can be performed, as well.

img-description img-description Helicopter Parts

Helicopter Parts

DTB has fatigue-tested over 100 different critical safety items for the US Army AMCOM – determining the viability of alternate component sourcing. Alternate source parts must meet the same fatigue life testing requirements as the OEM components. Examples of this type of testing include the UH-60 Rotor Cuff, the CH-47 Swashplate, and the CH-47 Horizontal Hinge Pin.

For these programs, DTB develops, as required, the loading methodology, test fixture design, test plan, and fixture fabrication. To verify proper loading, two previously qualified components are tested first, and then their failure is compared to existing data. Metallurgical examinations confirm failure modes and ensure that the proper areas of the component are being “challenged.” Two alternate source components are then tested, and their results are compared to the data of the previously qualified components.

A final test report, including metallurgical examination, is provided to AMCOM for their evaluation.

img-description img-description Coupon & Component

Coupon & Component

DTB has extensive facilities and expertise in coupon and component structural testing for static, as well as constant amplitude and spectrum, fatigue testing.

Our facilities include a static load Tinius Olsen, two Instron test systems, and two servo hydraulic MTS coupon test systems to perform several types of material, hardware, or component tests. The testing ranges can reach up to 120 KIP, statically, and 22 KIP, dynamically.

Our reliable and accurate testing solutions are ideal for advanced materials research, product development, quality control, and manufacturing process optimization. DTB can investigate overload failure, fatigue fracture, tensile fracture, and compression buckling – all while providing total life, crack initiation, and crack growth data.

Component structural tests provide a cost-effective way to validate design concepts early in the design process. DTB has conducted many composite component structural test programs to verify damage growth characteristics and to validate composite repairs and design concepts under challenging hot/wet conditions. We also provide coupon programs for environmental (high and low temperature) and corrosion effects on materials, as well as surface finishes.

Coupon programs are normally low-cost, simple-to-conduct tests that permit the evaluation of materials (or variations of materials), hardware, or components. Coupon programs can be used for metallurgical variations evaluation, like the effect of heat treatment and microstructure, and alloy chemistry variations evaluation.

img-description img-description Catapult & Arresting Gear

Catapult & Arresting Gear

DTB is a center of excellence in the areas of testing, inspecting, and qualifying aircraft catapult and arresting gear, including both aircraft and shipboard components. Some of the tests conducted include life extension fatigue tests for the arresting gear of the EA-6B, F-18 C/D, S-3, E-2C, and C-2A aircraft. These tests involve arresting gear load spectrum development, damage tolerance analysis, corrosion pitting analyses, and striation counting on fracture surfaces to determine crack initiation life.

DTB also performs conformance inspections on arresting gear hook points, stingers, launch bars, and carrier arresting gear engine components. These inspections consist of dimensional and metallurgical inspections, including hard coat face evaluations.

We also have an extensive inventory of loading adapters and fixtures used to proof load test these components. Our personnel are familiar with the exacting requirements of catapult and arresting gear, as well as the demands that are placed on them in service.